How do I set up my comic pan­els?

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An­swer PJ replies

At its sim­plest, a comic page is made up of a num­ber of im­ages called pan­els or frames. (In the US you’re more likely to hear the word panel than frame – they mean the same thing, but frame is Clip Stu­dio Paint’s pre­ferred term.) Frames are sep­a­rated by a gut­ter, and it’s the gut­ter that per­forms the magic in the reader’s eye of co­a­lesc­ing those frames into a sin­gle co­her­ent story.

Clip Stu­dio Paint has tools for ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing cre­at­ing frames and their bor­ders, and here I’ll dis­cuss ways to sim­plify the process and best prac­tices for work­ing with frames so you can do it quickly – and then get on with the fun stuff of draw­ing comics.

If you’re about to do a 200-page graphic novel, it’s im­por­tant to be con­sis­tent, so from the out­set you’ll want to es­tab­lish some rules. I’ve al­ways pre­ferred a solid 5mm gut­ter around my frames, with a bor­der thick­ness of 1.4mm. These are pretty much the stan­dard for 2000 AD.

Chaos, de­struc­tion, panic, all con­tained within a mix of full­bleed and over­lap­ping pan­els built within Clip Stu­dio Paint. When you have a mon­ster too large to be con­tained in the frame, that’s when you may need to have it burst out!

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